Successful Guest Blogging Relationships for Small Businesses
[Guest Blogger: Megan Totka]
Working with guest writers or bloggers for your blog can be a great help to your small business. There are many ways in which you can utilize a guest blogging spot to the fullest. Trading one commodity that you have for another that someone else has is a practice that has been around for a long time. While guest blogging may not fit the traditional definition of barter, that’s exactly what it is!
For the most part, guest blogging can be a very positive force for both the writer of the blog, as well as the company that posts it. However, there can be some negatives if the relationship is not managed well. Beginner's Guide to SEO Marketing (Part 2/3) briefly addresses some pros and cons of guest blogging, but I wanted to address how this type of relationship can be beneficial (or not) to small businesses that want to try it out.
Some ways that guest blogging can be a positive addition to your site:
- It can bring new eyes to your blog. Fans or followers of the guest blogger’s site will visit yours in order to read the writer’s post.
- Topics can be addressed with a fresh perspective. Guest bloggers can write about topics covered on your site, but the content and ideas will be all new.
- Your blog can seem more important. This holds especially true if you are able to get a guest blogger who is considered an expert in their industry.
- You can build industry connections. Networking is still the best way to get your name out there. While it’s not a good idea to swap blog posts with a direct competitor, people in similar or complimentary industries can really boost the traffic to both companies who are involved.
Some possible downsides to guest blogging:
- It could become a one sided relationship. Make sure that both parties involved are reaping the benefits of the guest blogging relationship. If the posts are overly aggressive with links, then you know the blogger is only interested in SEO and not providing quality content for your readers.
- It can seem like spam. Make sure that guest blogs don’t have too much of a sales feel. Your readers will know if your guest blogger is just there to plug themselves or their product.
- It can be time consuming. If you or your business has agreed to exchange posts with another blog or business, it can wind up taking a lot more of the writers’ time than was perhaps anticipated. It might even lead to an unwanted expense of having to hire a new writer.
If you decide to start a guest blogging relationship, it’s important to really weigh how it is going to affect your site. It’s also a good idea to set some ground rules with your guest blogger. This can include what topics to cover (or topics you would prefer to avoid), how much of a sales-type voice you are willing to post, and how often the blogging will happen. Without clear expectations, the relationship can become muddled and really defeat the purpose of having a guest blogger in the first place. But with a clear purpose and guidelines, a guest blogging relationship can be useful to everyone involved.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com which is the largest business directory on the web. ChamberofCommerce.com connects local businesses to their local Chamber of Commerce. Megan also writes business news.
Image by Matt Charney.